The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Upper Midwest dairy farmers expect lots of snow in January and February. But, April? That’s what happened, on April 14 and 15, when dairy farmers from South Dakota to Wisconsin got dumped on with double-digit inches of the heavy wet snow making the roads impassable for some dairy farmers to get their milk to their processing plant.

Nineteen FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members, five in South Dakota and 14 in Wisconsin were affected by impassable roads during the snowstorm, however, because of their membership with FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative they received a disaster payment for their lost milk. A total of $29,381 was paid to farmers.

Specifically, the Disaster Benefit Program available through FarmFirst pays farmers for the loss of milk income caused by the death of a cow by either lightning or electrocution, the loss of electric power or due to impassable roads due to snow or flooding. The Disaster Benefit Program is a unique benefit for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members.

“As most are aware our dairy farmers are having a difficult time with prolonged low prices,” said Jeff Lyon, General Manager for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, “Then, when the farmers are getting ready to hit the fields, we get a big snowstorm. We’re grateful for our disaster benefit program in times like these so we can help and support our dairy farmers in their time of need.”

“The benefits are many when you belong to FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative,” Lyon continued. “We have been a strong advocate for market-based dairy policies that give all our members an opportunity to be successful. We believe that dairy farmers need a variety of risk management tools through the public and private sector at their disposal. Our members understand the importance of trade and the need to enhance current trade agreements and expanded export opportunities to grow the U.S. dairy industry.”

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, directly and through its affiliation with prominent national dairy groups, continues to be a leader advocating for increased dairy consumption, truth in labeling and fighting groups that want to capitalize on the coveted word “milk” and use it for their plant-based products.

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative was established in 2013 and is based in Madison, Wis. The cooperative represents farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana through policy bargaining, dairy marketing services, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion. To join FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, call (608) 244-3373 or visit us at